Something caught my attention this week, causing me to ponder about happiness & joy. I thought…does happiness equal joy? No…but then what is the difference? Because I have joy, but not always happiness. Made me wonder. So I looked into our real joy…simply, it is a fruit that is grown by the Spirit inside of us. Among the other things that should grow abundantly: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) For me, I think happiness is something that’s a “perk” if you will…not a given. Joy however, is something we can find & maintain through sorrow or pain. Joy is that inner calm that connects the hope of our future with the desire for sustinence, which brings us the reminder of joy. Although “stuff” happens, there’s something inside that keeps finding little things to delight in…and I can’t take any of the credit, because it’s not ME that brings those little things into my path. **Interjection, I read a quote this week “If you can’t find joy along the path, don’t expect to find it when you reach the end of the path.”**”When my anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19) Christ is my consolation. He is my comforter & has provided me with a joy that will not be shaken. If I cling to this, Job’s words in 6:10 will be my words as well…”Then I would still have this consolation–my joy in unrelenting pain–that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.” I cannot say that I am always pure in my thoughts, or that I’m never angry or upset, but deep down I hold on to God as my anchor. Through this, my joy fuels my hope & my hope is enhanced by joy because I can trust that ” They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10) Yay for Joy!